After one of the deadliest attacks by Maoists in the last seven years on CRPF personnel, the government seems to have woken up to the need to review its intelligence strategies, operational issues and ex-gratia payments
NEW DELHI: In the backdrop of the Sukma attack, the deadliest in the last seven years, the Centre and State governments will be getting into a huddle on Monday to bolster their strategy to counter the Left Wing Extremism (LWE).
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will be meeting chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana and West Bengal in the national capital.
The meeting comes two weeks after more than 300 naxals killed 25 paramilitary personnel in an ambush in Chhattisgarh. Around 90 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans were part of the road opening party when they were attacked by the Naxals.
The Union Ministers in charge of Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Railways, Civil Aviation, Minister of Rural Development, Power, New & Renewable Energy and Telecom will also attend the meet. The meeting will also be attended by the Secretaries of the Central Ministries, Chief Secretaries and Director Generals of Police of the LWE affected states.
“A holistic review of the situation will be undertaken covering a wide canvas of security and development issues, particularly infrastructure building. The meeting will focus on devising new strategies to maintain the momentum achieved in 2016, notwithstanding a couple of incidents. Development issues will also be discussed with a view to ensure rapid development of LWE affected areas,” a statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs said.
The attack had pointed towards lacunae in intelligence gathering and sharing, training and motivation among the ranks and files of the CRPF.
The day-long meeting will include two sessions to discuss operational issues like the role of States in Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) operations, raising and employment of India Reserve (IR) Battalions and Special India Reserve Battalion (SIRB), etc, capacity building, intelligence issuesincluding capacity building of the State Intelligence Units, etc.
MHA report deems Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti as a rogue NGO
In its recent annual report, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has linked Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti (NSS) in Niyamgiri Hills, Odisha as a rogue NGO which is acting as a front organisation for the Maoists. Last year, Odisha had struggled with 86 incidents and 27 deaths as a result of left-wing extremist violence. MHA’s report states NSS has been acting as a façade to Maoist activities in Western Odisha by holding innocent tribals as ransom. The government and police have stiffened their stance on handling the Maoist menace in the State by reviewing their SOP urgently.
Government hikes ex-gratia payment to troopers
After the Sukma attack in which Naxals killed 25 CRPF jawans, the Centre has substantially
revised the ex gratia compensation to Central paramilitary forces’ personnel killed in action or in line of duty. The Resettlement and Welfare Directorate of the Police Division under the Union Home Ministry notified that these compensations will be effective from January 1, 2016.
Revisions in compensation
Death due to accident in the course of duty: L10 lakh to L25 lakh
Death due to enemy action in international war or border skirmishes: L15 lakh to L35 lakh
Death on duty in specified high altitude posts due to natural disasters: L15 lakh to L35 lakh
New category of compensation for the Central paramilitary forces
Death during enemy action in war or such war like engagements which are specifically notified by the Defence Ministry: L45 lakh
* Death occurring during evacuation of Indian nationals from war-torn zone in foreign countries will also be covered in this category with similar compensation amounts.
What else is in the pipeline?
The Resettlement and Welfare Directorate is examining the revision of ex-gratia lump sum compensation from D9 lakh to D20 lakh to Central paramilitary forces personnel who are boarded out from service on account of disability attributable to or aggravated by government service. Once cleared, paramilitary personnel disabled after January 1, 2016 will be entitled to the new compensation.